It’s been five years since Watain released one of their most commercially successful records, The Wild Hunt. While no one could ever accuse the Swedish black metal band of going soft, it did offer a chance for them to flex their creative muscles and bring new layers into their brutal arsenal. Now, as we arrive at the first major metal release of 2018, Watain have unleashed their sixth album, Trident Wolf Eclipse, and have clearly come to reclaim their crown as the most ferocious modern black metal band.
The black ‘n’ roll that peppered their previous album are all but a distant memory within seconds of the opening track, Nuclear Alchemy. Erick Danielsson wastes no time in getting back to the aggression that Watain were synonymous with. The unabashed hatred that spews from his vocal chords over a sea of blast beats and buzzsaw guitars on Sacred Damnation and Furor Diabolicus is nothing short of frightening.
While it is quite linear, something that cannot be said for its predecessor, long-time fans of Watain will welcome this return to their raw black metal roots. Clocking in at just under 40-minutes in length, this works in the albums favour. It is utterly unrelenting from beginning to end, with enthralling moments of terror on Throne Below – their most vicious work since Casus Luciferi – and a tribute to the traditional Norwegian sound with Ultra (Pandemonic), which features a guest appearance from Mayhem vocalist, Attilla Csihar.
From the production, the length, structure, and ominous delivery of the closing track, The Fire of Power, the masters of brutality have truly revisited what once made them feel like a dangerous band. Trident Wolf Eclipse flows seamlessly, and does exactly what you want – and expect – from a Watain record.